Shopping centres Manchester Arndale and Bluewater have recorded their busiest days of the year this weekend as people shopped for last-minute Christmas deals.
Yesterday saw Manchester Arndale record its single busiest Sunday of all time with just under 200,000 eager shoppers visiting the centre on the final Sunday before Christmas.
And Bluewater recorded its busiest day of the year on Saturday with footfall reaching almost 160,000.
David Allinson, Centre Director at Manchester Arndale commented:“Christmas is invariably our busiest time of year and already we’ve had a number of retailers report incredible sales during the Christmas period. We’ve experienced a 25 per cent increase in gift card sales from the same time last year and our charitable initiatives have seen an overwhelming surge in generosity in previous weeks.
“With only two days until Christmas, we expect to welcome last minute present buyers in their thousands.”
Robert Goodman, Bluewater’s General Manager, said Christmas had taken off at Bluewater. “We recorded our busiest day of the year for footfall, and many retailers have reported anecdotally strong sales as well. The flash sales helped to attract additional visitors, but the key drivers were pay day on Friday and the beginning of the holidays.”
Manchester Arndale is also anticipating thousands of visitors for the Boxing Day sales, with Next opening their doors as early as 6am and Topshop/Topman at 8am.
For the first time, Bluewater is opening until midnight on December 23, with around 30 retailers participating to capture late spend from last minute shoppers.
The news comes as property firm Knight Frank says that the shopping centre investment market is poised for solid growth in Q4 2014.